INDIA: The Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA) has developed new technology for murrel natural breeding in controlled conditions in Odisha, which will make it possible to increase its production.
This new technological development it will be able to breed the species and to produce seeds in concrete tanks, New Indian Express reported.
While small sized water bodies are ideal for the scientific murrel culture, ponds having steep dykes are preferred to prevent the escape of fish, explains CIFA experts, which is premier research establishment of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Nodal scientist Dr Rajesh Kumar said to meet the challenges posed by the demand for seedlings, ICAR-CIFA developed the breeding technology of striped murrel in hatchery condition which is all set to make a difference in the fish farming sector.
"We are creating awareness to promote the technology and the potential of murrel culture as a result of which now there is a consistent demand from Andhra Pradesh and other southern States to take up the technology. Many farmers also are seeking our advice to set up the hatchery and start breeding," Kumar said.
Prior to the research, the CIFA made a baseline survey in Odisha and Tamil Nadu to know the resources and interest of fish farmers for the research taken up under the National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP).
While it is State fish in Telangana, people prefer murrel over any other fishes in States like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Bihar and northeastern region. Since the fish has only a central spine, people find it easy to consume. It has medicinal values for its high iron content and amino acid.
For his part, CIFA Director Jitendra Kumar Sundaray pointed out that the good growth rate, high consumer preferences, lucrative market value and their ability to withstand adverse water conditions make them suitable candidate species for freshwater aquaculture.